Thursday, September 3, 2009

Tuscan Lemon Chicken

I haven't had much blog-time today, but I wanted to go ahead and give you the next recipe as promised, sans bells and whistles. It does call for a flattened chicken, which requires channeling your inner Julia Child and cutting out the backbone. If I can do it, you can too.

Tuscan Lemon Chicken

From Ina Garten (Barefoot Contessa, Back to Basics)

*I would highly recommend watching Ina’s Back to Basics episode, “
Fired Up,” for her instructions on flattening a chicken; alternately, ask your butcher to do this.

1 (3 1/2-pound) chicken, flattened

Kosher salt

1/3 cup good olive oil

2 teaspoons grated lemon zest (2 lemons)

1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 tablespoon minced garlic (3 cloves)

1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary leaves

Freshly ground black pepper

1 lemon, halved

Sprinkle the chicken with 1 teaspoon salt on each side. Combine the olive oil, lemon zest, lemon juice, garlic, rosemary, and 2 teaspoons pepper in a small measuring cup. Place the chicken in a ceramic or glass dish just large enough to hold it flat. Pour the lemon marinade over the chicken, turning it in the dish. Cover the dish with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight. Turn the chicken 2 or 3 times while marinating.

When ready to grill, prepare a hot charcoal fire on 1 side of a grill (or turn a gas grill on low heat). Spread most of the coals across half of the grill. Place the chicken, skin side up, on the opposite side of the grill and place the dish you used for marinating on top of the chicken to weight it. Cook for 12 to 15 minutes*, until the underside is golden brown. Turn the chicken skin side down, weight again with the dish, and cook for another 12 to 15 minutes*, until the skin is golden brown and the chicken is cooked through. Place the lemon halves on the cool side of the grill, cut side down for the last 10 minutes of cooking. Remove the chicken to a plate or cutting board, cover with aluminum foil, and allow to rest for 5 minutes. Cut in quarters, sprinkle with salt, and serve with the grilled lemon halves.

*We found that it took a bit longer than this, more like 18-20 minutes per side. The weight of your pan will also be a determining factor in the cooking time.
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